Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid urged his team "not to panic" as mounting injuries are compounding a slow start to the season.
The Sounders have just seven points from as many games and are second from bottom in the Western Conference.
Without injured forwards Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez, they suffered their fourth defeat of the season on Saturday, 3-1 at the Colorado Rapids.
Schmid was critical of his players after the game, saying "there was no leadership on the field" and "we beat ourselves today."
But Schmid said a few days of watching game tape eased his mind a bit.
"It's never as bad as you think once you watch it on video tape," he told reporters on Monday. "It's never as good as you think once you watch it on video tape.
"Obviously the team felt they could have gotten more out of the game, and we felt they could have gotten more out of the game.
The coach added that he's seen improvement since the Sounders began the season with three straight defeats.
"The important this for us is not to panic at this stage," he said. "We've gotten seven points in our last four games. And if we can continue to get seven points from every four games here on out, we'll be in the playoffs.
"We've got two games at home, and at the end of this homestand we want to have 13 points."
Dempsey, who's dealing with a groin injury, and Valdez, battling a bad hamstring, didn't travel with the team to Colorado but were back in training on Monday.
The team's official website said both are expected to return against Columbus this weekend, though Schmid was less certain.
The coach was also unsure of the status of Andreas Ivanchitz, who also joined the injury list after suffering a thigh strain against the Rapids.
"We'll see," Schmid said of the midfielder. "We'll have a better idea on Wednesday."